Osteoporosis is a metabolic disease resulting in loss of bone tissue and disorganization of bone structure that affects more than 200 million people worldwide and more than 10 million Americans. Combined with the additional 18 million Americans who also have low bone mass, nearly 10% of all Americans are affected by these prevalent bone disorders.

Although there is a long list of diseases that may cause bone loss (osteopenia), including hyperthyroidism, a variety of malignant cancers, and malabsorption syndrome, osteoporosis is specifically a result of certain metabolic factors. The bone matrix is a composition of both organic and inorganic materials and a loss in bone mass is due to a loss of these components, like collagen, phosphate, and calcium. When metabolic factors such as Vitamin D levels, calcium levels, and osteoblast activity fail to be regulated properly, bone loss occurs.

There are a variety of conditions linked to osteoporosis. Age is huge a factor, especially individuals over 50 and women once they hit menopause. These factors and smoking all have a strong correlation with osteoporosis. Deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, inadequate dietary protein, and certain gastrointestinal syndromes are also factors in the loss of bone mass and in osteoporosis. Most importantly, osteoporosis often develops in people who do not engage in exercise.

Weight-bearing bones line the pelvis, femur, and lumbar vertebras are primarily affected by osteoporosis. As a result, many people with osteoporosis end up with hip fractures and fractures of the lumbar spine, which can be potentially debilitating.

Wolff’s law states that bone remodels along the lines of physiologic stress. What this means is that when we do exercises that provide mechanical challenges to our bones, our bones become stronger and denser by growing more bone. Thus it is important to regularly practice weight-bearing exercises like running, walking, bicycling, and various strength training exercises to combat bone loss and osteoporosis and build stronger bones.

You may be wondering at this point where chiropractic care comes in. Chiropractic care takes care of spinal misalignments, which, when not addressed, cause, tight and inflamed spinal ligaments and muscles. These inflammations restrict mobility in the neck, lower back, and/or mid-back and directly impact the proper functioning of the nerve system. Without the correct communication between the nerve system and the rest of the body, cells and tissues don’t receive all the necessary information they need, and often ailments and disease are the result.

Chiropractic care is just another tool to help keep your bones healthy and strong. By maintaining your spine’s alignment and optimizing nerve function, your body can take your healthy routine of exercise and nutrition to win the battle against osteoporosis. So maintain proper nutrition, participate in vigorous and regular exercise, and arm yourself in the fight against bone mass loss and osteoporosis.